Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Cancer Screening in Metuchen, NJ
Oral cancer is a serious condition that affects many people each year. Fortunately, treatment is very effective if it is caught early. On the other hand, the longer oral cancer goes undetected, the more likely you will need more aggressive and invasive treatment.
Oral cancer screenings are a big part of a comprehensive dental exam at our practice. If you haven’t had an exam with oral cancer screening recently, schedule an appointment at Metuchen Dental Group today. It could save your life!
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a form of cancer that affects the tissues of the mouth and throat. It can develop anywhere in your oral cavity, including the lips, gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth. Oral cancer is often first detected as a small lump or sore that does not heal within two weeks. Other early symptoms for oral cancer patients may include bleeding, pain, numbness, or changes in the tissue’s size, color, or texture. Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms.
Factors That Put You at Higher Risk
People who frequently use tobacco products or drink alcohol excessively are at increased risk of developing oral cancer. Other risk factors include exposure to sunlight, HPV infection, and a family history of cancer. Oral cancer can affect patients of any age, but older patients typically face higher risks. Early diagnosis is critical to providing the best outcome, so it’s essential to keep up with regular dental exams and oral cancer screenings so your dentist can monitor any changes in your health.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
Early detection is critical for an oral cancer patient, and regular dental examinations are the best way to protect your oral health. During a routine examination, our dentists will examine your gums, lips, and throat for any signs of abnormality, including ulcers, red or white patches, and lumps. If signs of anything suspicious are found, they may order a biopsy. This involves taking a small tissue sample from the affected area and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. When we can make an early diagnosis, oral cancer is highly treatable. Visiting our dental practice regularly for routine services and oral cancer screenings is the best way to keep up with your dental care.
Oral cancer can be very aggressive, and treatment options will vary depending on the stage of the disease. In general, early-stage oral cancers can usually be treated successfully with surgery, while more advanced cancers may require radiation therapy or chemotherapy for the patient. However, with early diagnosis through oral cancer screenings and aggressive treatment, many patients with oral cancer can achieve remission and live healthy lives.
How to Reduce Your Risk
You can do several things to protect your health and reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco use is the number one cause of oral cancer. Quitting can significantly lower your risks, even if you have been a heavy smoker in the past.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Heavy alcohol use can cause damage to the lining of your mouth, making it more susceptible to cancer-causing agents.
- Limit sun exposure. Protect your lips from the sun using a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher. Skin tone can affect your susceptibility to sun damage, so fair-skinned patients should be particularly vigilant about sun protection.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Schedule regular visits to our office for an exam and professional dental cleaning. An early oral cancer diagnosis is often made through oral cancer screenings during a routine dental exam.
Why Early Detection is Important for Your Oral Health
When oral cancer screenings lead to early diagnosis, they can typically be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. However, if the cancer is allowed to progress, it becomes much more challenging to treat effectively. Not only is oral cancer painful, but it can also be disfiguring and require tooth extraction. This can be stressful for many patients who feel like they have lost their natural beauty.
Detecting cancer in the early stages with your dentist can help prevent these complications. In addition, if you notice any changes in your mouth or throat, such as a sore that does not heal, you should call our dental practice immediately.
Contact us for Oral Cancer Screenings
Our dentist office is here to help our patients and their dental needs, including performing an oral cancer screening. Contact us at 732-321-1151 to schedule an appointment.